It's no secret that WWE borrowed plenty of elements that were initially brought to the table by WCW, even during the peak of the Monday Night Wars. Some were blatantly obvious while others were done in a subtle way by the WWE to not attract a lot of unwanted attention.
The company has been often accused of revising history when it comes to the massive impact that WCW had on the wrestling industry, as well as their influence towards the WWE product as we know it. With today's list, we look at 10 things you didn't know WWE copied from WCW!
10 Live Weekly Shows
As WCW geared up to take over the wrestling industry with the investment of Ted Turner, the company aimed to surpass competition in every possible way. In 1995, WCW officially had a weekly live show with Monday Nitro while the WWE was still running pre-taped events. As the former overtook WWE in television ratings, it became evident to Vince McMahon that they also had to follow suit in order to have the best chance to defeat WCW. And while initially Monday Night Raw was sometimes pre-taped - contrary to WWE's claims at the time - it has been a live weekly show for two decades now.
9 Introduction Of Edgy Characters
Before the Attitude Era came through to crush the building, so many WWE Superstars were lacking an identity as Vince McMahon was still trying to re-create moments from the 80s. But the landscape had significantly changed by the 90s and WCW took advantage of that by introducing edgy characters into the mix.
The likes of Scott Hall and Kevin Nash completely changed their demeanor as soon as they joined WCW, and became more over than ever before. With many stars excelling in WCW due to an edgier persona, WWE took notes and applied it to some of its biggest stars.
8 Reinvention Of Cage Matches
If you were to watch a WWE cage match from the 80s, you would see how basic it was at the time compared to modern standards. Many of the elements that were later introduced by WWE had been already used by WCW throughout the 90s. From the cage promotion and setup to its size, WWE borrowed many ideas that were originally used by WCW.
Even the music being played as the cage is lowered down was taken from WCW, which was a recurring theme throughout the Monday Night Wars. With that being said, it must be noted that WCW did capitalize on a number of cage match stipulations that were innovated by WWE.
7 Commercials During Middle Of A Match
Perhaps one of the worst ideas that WWE could have copied from WCW if you are a fan. These days, it has become very common for WWE to cut through a match multiple times to go to commercial even when action is taking place. But it was WCW who brought the idea on the table as the company aimed to maximize its profits by showing as many commercials as possible.
Vince McMahon may have been reluctant to immediately adapt the concept as it took WWE some time to do so. So the next time a commercial plays during a match on Raw, fans will know who to blame.
6 The Granddaddy Of Them All
Before WrestleMania became the pinnacle of professional wrestling, Starrcade held the prestigious title as it featured some of the biggest stars in the United States. The first Starrcade took place in 1983 while WrestleMania didn't start until two years later.
Often credited for bringing WrestleMania into light, a lot of younger fans are unaware that Vince McMahon was simply copying a concept that already existed. In all fairness, McMahon did put his personal touches on the event that made it the incredible spectacle that it still is today, taking it to an entirely different level than what Starrcade once was.
5 Bringing In A Wave Of Japanese Wrestlers
Both companies were going out of their way to reach the biggest audience possible, while also attempting to comfortably rule the wrestling world. And that's why the Monday Night Wars saw the introduction of many new ideas in hopes of finding the next big profitable concept.
With WCW and NJPW holding a close relationship throughout the 90s, many Japanese stars such as Jushin Liger, Kensuke Sasaki and The Great Muta were brought over to perform for WCW. As the movement gained WCW some more eyeballs, WWE experimented with a similar scheme by recruiting The Great Sasuke and Taka Michinoku for a brief period.
4 High Flying Cruiserweight Divison
WCW outshone WWE in many areas as they overlapped them in ratings, and that was a wake-up call for Vince McMahon. Not only was WCW's popularity on the rise, but the company was also putting out a better product for the fans. Unlike the mid 90s WWE, WCW was much more unique since it appealed to different audiences - offering something for everyone.
Among them was the highly successful Cruiserweight division featuring the likes of Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho and Dean Malenko. WWE attempted to replicate WCW's talent pool with the Light Heavyweight although it was very short lived and disappointing.
3 Creation Of A Second Brand
If you happened to be a fan during the Monday Night Wars, this entry won't surprise you. Considering that two decades have passed by, it's safe to assume that plenty of WWE fans may be unaware that SmackDown was copied from WCW's Thunder. In 1998, WCW launched a second brand with Thunder in hopes of growing an even stronger presence and audience.
The attempt backfired as the ratings tanked while talents only grew more frustrated. Luckily for SmackDown, which was also aired on Thursday like Thunder, it was well received by fans and exceeded all previous expectations. In this case, one could say that McMahon took a rough draft and made it into a working concept.
2 Increase Of Pay-Per-Views Per Year
It may be difficult to believe since the company has adapted the pay-per-view system in the mid 90s, but there was a time when WWE didn't run them on monthly basis. The four major events today of WrestleMania, SummerSlam, Survivor Series and Royal Rumble were the only WWE PPVs at some point until they copied the WCW model.
By 1996, WWE were hosting a PPV every month to put them in the best position to compete with the rising WCW, which had been doing so since 1993. Given that WWE is still running the very same format to this day, it's safe to say that WCW had a positive influence on McMahon's empire.
1 Heel Authority Figure That Runs The Show
When it comes to the Attitude Era, there is one name that always sticks out and that would be Stone Cold Steve Austin. But he didn't become the biggest star in sports entertainment on his own, as the rivalry with Vince McMahon helped plenty in shaping Austin's character.
Mr. McMahon was undoubtedly the biggest heel of that period but it wasn't exactly an original idea to begin with. Before the WWE started toying around with a heel authority figure ruling the company in storylines, there was Eric Bischoff who played a very similar role during the rise of nWo. As usual, McMahon was able to push it to a new spectrum.